The Council is made of 47 Member States, which are elected by the majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot. The General Assembly takes into account the candidate States' contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.
The Council's Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
With membership on the Council comes a responsibility to uphold high human rights standards. This is a criteria insisted on by States themselves when they adopted
resolution 60/251 in March 2006 to create the Human Rights Council.
HRC Membership across the globe (2006 - 2020)
* As of 1 January 2020, 117 UN member States will have served as Human Rights Council Members, reflecting the UN’s diversity and giving the Council legitimacy when speaking out on human rights violations in all countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czechia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Zambia.
Presidency and Bureau
Bureau of the Council consists of five people - one
President and four Vice-presidents - representing the five regional groups. They serve for a year, in accordance with the Council's annual cycle.
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